For 12 minutes Thursday night, Brian Quinnett made Michael Jordan look ordinary. Then reality set in.
Jordan scored 25 of his 34 points in the second half to help the Chicago Bulls rally from a 24-point deficit and post a 101-91 victory over the Knicks in New York.Quinnett had held Jordan to 5 points in the second quarter and riddled the All-Star for 16, hitting all seven of his field goal attempts - six from long range.
"I was nervous at halftime," Quinnett said. "I was thinking, 'Boy, this isn't going to be anything if we lose."'
The Bulls scored the first 6 points of the third quarter and the Knicks turned the ball over nine times in the period, simply giving Chicago the game.
"We erased an 18-point deficit in the third quarter, which is kind of shocking," Jordan said. "There was no yelling or like that at half time. We knew what we had to do to get back in the game."
The Bulls collapsed on Patrick Ewing, limiting him to 10 points and two rebounds in the second half, and held New York to 39 percent shooting from the field. They also clamped down on Quinnett, who managed just 4 points on 1-for-7 shooting from the field after the break to finish with a career-high 20.
"I felt strong in the first half," Quinnett said, looking like someone had shot his dog. "I don't know how we can be in a game like that and come out and stink it up."
Jordan was held to 9 points on 4-of-12 shooting in the first half but he was the show in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of the Bulls' final 17 points. Jordan, who was playing in his 500th career game, scored 13 in the period.
Pippen scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, handed out 12 assists and made four steals as the Central Division-leading Bulls improved to 55-18 and kept pace with Portland for the NBA's best overall record.
The Knicks ran their lead to 24 in the second quarter and led by 18 at the half before managing just 12 points in the third quarter and 17 in the fourth as the Bulls came back. New York, which played without Charles Oakley, Gerald Wilkins and Trent Tucker, has dropped seven of its last 10.
Lakers 102, Suns 98
At Phoenix, James Worthy scored 16 of his 26 points in the first quarter to stake the Lakers to a 14-point lead. Los Angeles padded its margin over the Suns for second place in the division to 2 1-2 games. Kevin Johnson led Phoenix with 33 points and 12 assists.
Spurs 105, Bucks 101
At Milwaukee, David Robinson scored 28 of his game-high 35 points in the second half and Terry Cummings hit a free throw with seven seconds left to help the Spurs remain in first place in the Midwest Division. San Antonio, which outscored the Bucks 33-17 in the final period, used a 12-0 run to open the fourth quarter to help erase what had been a 16-point deficit in the second quarter.
Timberwolves 134, Nuggets 122
At Minneapolis, Doug West scored 10 of his season-high 15 points in the fourth quarter to help the Timberwolves set a franchise scoring record. The Wolves surpassed their 1989-90 win total with the victory and ended a five-game losing streak. Minnesota's previous franchise high was 128 points set earlier this season against the Nuggets.
Hornets 98, Hawks 91
At Charlotte, N.C., Johnny Newman scored 17 of his 20 points in the third quarter to rally the Hornets. Rex Chapman added 16 points and nine assists for the Hornets, who have won four of their last six. Dominique Wilkins paced the Hawks with 26 points. Atlanta has lost four in a row.
Celtics 123, Nets 104
At Boston, Kevin McHale scored 8 of his 19 points in the third quarter, breaking open a tight game. New Jersey's Sam Bowie led all scorers with 28 points as the Nets dropped their second game this week to the Celtics. Kevin Gamble led seven Boston players in double figures with 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the floor.
Trail Blazers 105, Bullets 96
At Landover, Md., technical fouls and ejections assessed to Washington Coach Wes Unseld and Bullets Darrell Walker and Pervis Ellison fueled a 19-5 Portland surge in the fourth quarter. The Bullets were called for 26 fouls to 16 for the Trail Blazers. Portland shot 40 free throws to 11 for Washington.